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 Post subject: Need to process
PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2014 10:20 am 
Partner's Coach

Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2010 11:49 pm
Posts: 675
Mostly this is just me needing to process, but if people have insight or thoughts about effective boundaries (the part that I'm most unsure of) I'm definitely open to that.

I have seen my H make significant improvement in his ability to be vulnerable, to empathize, to communicate, and to at least participate in various parts of our life together as a family. However the area where he still needs a large amount of growth is in participating in the day in and day out chores. He still struggles with consistency in completing his household chores (although he's improved.) He still has difficulty initiating things that need doing (cleaning, yard work, etc...) and mostly relies on my to be the one to get our family moving. Finances are another major point of difficulty and it somewhat regularly leads to minor financial crisis.

The last 15 days have been very expensive. We had to replace my tires. Our son broke a window in our home that we needed to replace and all our monthly bills became due. Things were going to be tight, but we were going to make it. And I was working hard to make sure that we would have a little extra in the last few days before his next pay check so that I would be able to go out and do things with our boys while he's out of town. Last Thursday my H made a $350 purchase that he cannot return, without discussing it with me first. We generally do not make purchases over $50 without discussing it with each other first because they can be difficult to absorb if we have more than a few in a given paycheck.

My H has apologized multiple times. He gave me the few dollars that was left of his birthday money so that I had a little spending money for the week. (Will probably be used for groceries instead.) He's looking for ways to make extra money over the next week. I know that there's nothing specific that can be done to fix it, but I'm realizing that I'm still pretty angry about it and I'm not sure what to do. I'm upset that spending that much money without discussing it with me was even an option. I'm angry that it seems like this particular purchase was somewhat planned without any communication about it - other than vague mentions that he would like to make a similar purchase at some point in the future. I'm frustrated that he still hasn't learned the skills to consider all of our other responsibilities before making a large purchase, rather than just looking at a number in our bank account. I'm worried because this all is happening at the same time that I've seen an uptick in his use of video games. It's just all very stressful and I'm trying to figure out the healthiest way to approach addressing it when very little can actually be done to fix it, and he seems to be doing his best to do the few things that will help.

If anyone has any insight or ideas I would be very grateful for them.

 Post subject: Re: Need to process
PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2014 4:45 pm 
Partner's Mentor

Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2014 1:34 pm
Posts: 668
Mrs Jones, I am so, so sorry to hear about these stressful events. I didn't even put in my values since it is a core value (light bulb moment) the importance for me of staying financially responsible. (Oh, wait, we live with men with immediate gratification problems). So, I guess because being responsible about money is so important to me, I took over our family finances very early. (Plus, I'm trained in this area and it is one time my husband not wanting responsiblity helped. He also is good about not over spending since he was poor when he was young). That said, I'd be tempted to put on financial controls, like account limits for joint credit cards (I make sure to have cards in my name only and to have the rest of the cards be joint). Sometimes the bank will let you put limits on withdrawals, etc. Because you have children involved, I think tough measures are needed. Obviously these should be enacted after discussion with your husband, but I see these as non-negotiables. It's in his best interest to help out on the money issues.

On household chores, well, I just go on strike. I stop doing his dishes or his laundry, and when he comes back to helping, I start agian. But, I have stopped cleaning up after him and staying on top of parts of the house that are exclusively his. You have to be able to tolerate this and risk feeling bad if people come by. Talk about a values collision. I hope this does not sound too extreme.

Thinking of you,

 Post subject: Re: Need to process
PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2014 12:15 am 
Partner's Mentor

Joined: Thu Apr 18, 2013 11:38 pm
Posts: 515
This series of events and his choices sound very stressful. I am so sorry this has been dumped on your plate.

Him apologizing multiple times is one thing, but how does this get changed for the future?

Are you able to look at this in a similar way to other values violations (e.g. The sex related stuff) and go back to figuring out:
-what values this violates for you
-what the comsequence will be for a future violation
-what specific things you need to see from him to begin to trust you are on the same page withh this issue

The last one is tricky, as you know, because he is likely to look to the letter of the law instead of the spirit.

On another thread you mentioned you told your husband you want a partner who looks to actovely uphold your values rather than one who tries to find loopholes in them.

Can that be reframed and reused here?

Pragmatically for boundaries, could a new system be in place that puts:
A) a credit card in your name only (no card for him)
B) a cash system for spending money. No debits on this.
C) part of his spending money each month now goes to cover the payment he made

Those are just broad ideas.

For chores, I have little of value to add. I can't begin to think of how one goes about speaking to an issue like initiative. :/

 Post subject: Re: Need to process
PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2014 12:21 am 
General Mentor

Joined: Tue Oct 22, 2013 12:47 pm
Posts: 694
This resonates with me somehow as my H is a mastermind of manipulation.

mrsjones007 wrote:
I'm angry that it seems like this particular purchase was somewhat planned without any communication about it - other than vague mentions that he would like to make a similar purchase at some point in the future.

Was he consciously going behind your back because he knew you do not agree? That tactic of briefly mentioning things without disclosing everything because he fears conflict or even worse, you saying a firm 'no' is very cunning. It covers his back when he can afterwards say 'ah, but you knew, I told you this, don't you remember?' Anyways, in my humble opinion there are lies and manipulation involved just so he can get what he wants at all costs, which, once again, affect others in very negative ways he doesn't want to consider. You say he apologised ... Ok, but did he return the purchase? Is that even an option? That would be a honest apology if indeed he had been caught in the moment and it was not skilfully planned manipulation.

"A wholehearted attention feels like the nurturing presence that I always wished I had in a parent. Now I am free to be there for myself in a way that I assumed I needed from someone else." Tara Bennett-Goleman, Emotional Alchemy

 Post subject: Re: Need to process
PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2014 9:59 am 
Partner's Mentor

Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 10:49 pm
Posts: 3834
Selfish immediate gratification. He knew the rules, knew your financial situation, and chose to return to an old pattern. The video game playing - a red flag. So what boundaries and consequences do you have in place for this? You've gotten some excellent suggestions - about financial boundaries. Follow through and tell him how you feel along with enforcing your boundaries.

Nellie James

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